In today’s hyper-connected world, Wi-Fi networks form a critical part of the IT infrastructure for all types of businesses and educational institutions.
Without a reliable Wi-Fi network capable of delivering good and consistent connectivity, productivity suffers. For retail businesses, this poor experience can lead to customer frustration and potential loss of revenue. Additionally, as organizations become increasingly digital-focused, reliable Wi-Fi will play an even more integral role in back-end operations.
When it comes to wireless access point (AP) deployment in real-world situations, interference, competing clients, and even building construction material all have an effect on the performance of the wireless network. The future will bring more users, more bandwidth-intensive applications, and a more diverse range of devices such as wearable tech, VR, and IoT. This will inevitably increase demand for Wi-Fi access and place additional pressure on your radio frequency (RF) environment.
Preparing for this exponential growth without exceeding your budget presents a number of challenges. You need a solution that can manage unpredictable and fluctuating Wi-Fi demands now and can easily accommodate future needs
Better Airtime Efficiency = Greater Capacity
It’s important to note that a higher AP count does not automatically equate to greater capacity. The capacity of a single AP is equal to the number of clients (i.e., devices) that can successfully transmit over a period of time.
Why is client data rate important? Wi-Fi is a shared medium, so the longer a client spends on air transmitting, the longer other devices must wait before they can transmit. If fewer devices are given an opportunity to transmit in any given timeslot, overall capacity is reduced.
To support more clients in high-density situations, simply installing additional APs will not resolve capacity issues. That’s because there is a finite number of available channels. When channel reuse occurs, any performance improvement can be diminished due to noise, co-channel and adjacent channel interference. Network deployments with multiple APs that use overlapping channels with wider channel bandwidth have a higher probability of problematic co-channel interference.
So, not only does installing more APs drive up costs significantly, this expensive approach is unlikely to result in the better experience users expect.
Ruckus resolves this problem by enhancing airtime efficiency so that all clients can simultaneously transmit to multiple devices, thereby drastically improving overall throughput and availability. This allows a given Ruckus AP to accommodate more clients than the equivalent competing vendor’s APs.
When it comes to capacity, it’s not just about the overall capacity of an AP. What’s important is ‘usable capacity’ for each client on that AP. You want each connected user to receive the required Quality of Service (QoS). A client that is connected at very slow speeds or continually times-out is not being adequately served by the network.
Ruckus’ patented BeamFlex® and ChannelFly technologies have been extensively tested in real-world deployments in which interference, noise, and physical barriers impact usable capacity.
ChannelFly is a new approach to optimizing RF channel selection based on capacity averages across all channels. Specialized algorithms select the best channel based on historical values.
BeamFlex is able to select antenna patterns that focus RF energy away from the direction of interference, thereby attenuating noise to the receiving station. This enables significant improvements in signal gain, increased capacity and enables Ruckus to support more devices in high-density situations, covering a larger area than competitors’ APs.
Here we delve deeper into how BeamFlex’s innovative technology is able to increase airtime efficiency for clients connecting to your wireless network.
BeamFlex® Adaptive Antenna Technology
BeamFlex technology encompasses a combination of patented software algorithms and multiple high-gain horizontally and vertically polarized antenna elements. This adaptive antenna system creates optimal antenna patterns for each device with which it communicates, resulting in significantly increased stability, performance and range.
Unlike omnidirectional antennas that radiate signals in all directions, BeamFlex technology focuses the antenna pattern on each client. Unlike fixed-position, directional antennas, BeamFlex technology dynamically configures and re-configures antenna patterns to optimize signal quality at the client. And unlike any other approaches, BeamFlex technology reconfigures the antenna pattern on a packet-by-packet basis, so it’s always being optimized for each client.
And because BeamFlex technology focuses RF energy where it’s needed, it reduces interference between APs and clients, increasing available capacity and enabling higher average throughput per client.
The net result: each AP delivers more capacity over a larger area as compared to competitive vendor APs and, thus, fewer APs are needed to deliver the capacity and coverage required. That means more reliable client connectivity and an enhanced Wi-Fi experience at considerably lower cost than alternatives
No Client Left Behind
Increased adoption of video communications is driving worldwide growth in business IP traffic. Yet, delivering high quality video over wireless is still challenging. Video and voice are examples of applications in which latency and jitter, in addition to inadequate bandwidth, can negatively impact end-user Quality of Experience (QoE). That’s why Wi-Fi performance testing should also include tests of video-streaming capability.
Ruckus commissioned an independent third party to test the performance of a mid-range Ruckus AP against those of competitors. The tests consisted of 60 Chromebooks running video and two Mac Mini clients running data only. The number of successful simultaneous video streams supported by the AP before and after a data load was introduced was measured. The number of clients with stall-free video was recorded along with the aggregate data throughput associated with the data-only clients.
The test showed that Ruckus APs delivered perfect video quality of experience in a challenging, high-density environment. Ruckus APs were able to stream high-resolution video to 60 video clients without a single stalled video while simultaneously supporting 150Mbps data throughput associated with the data clients.
Most vendor APs couldn’t deliver stall-free video to all sixty clients, even with no other traffic on the network. And no vendor except Ruckus could deliver stall-free video to sixty clients while under simultaneous data loading. These results demonstrate that Ruckus can deliver on its capacity promise.
The ever-growing number of users and devices dictates that demand for Wi-Fi bandwidth will continue its remarkable growth trajectory. But that doesn’t automatically mean that IT departments will get more budget to meet the demand. Organizations can use fewer Ruckus APs to support a given number of clients, yielding a more cost-efficient infrastructure.
Wi-Fi usage will continue to grow and demand for an accessible, reliable and fast network will continue to be a priority. It makes sound economic sense to choose high performance, high density-capable APs that lower your total cost of ownership, now and in the long-term.
Ruckus APs have been proven to support 30-50% more clients and to provide up to 30% better coverage than competitors’ products – without a performance penalty. More usable capacity per AP saves on capital outlay for additional APs, associated subscription fees, installation costs and other related overhead.
Patented RF technologies combat the signal degradation, noise and interference that disrupt service and make users unhappy. The result is fast and reliable Wi-Fi for everyone without the need to overprovision APs. With Ruckus, you also have the flexibility of being able to migrate from one management architecture—virtual controller, appliance-based controller, controller-less, or cloud—to another (or a hybrid deployment) without throwing away your AP investment.
If you would like to find out more about Ruckus and what they can bring to your organisation, call Net-Ctrl on 01473 281 211, or complete our Contact Form.